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Universal Credit cut to hit 3million kids in six weeks’ time

MORE than 3million children will be hit by the upcoming cut to Universal Credit payments.

The government will end a £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit payments at the end of next month.

The £20 a week boost was part of the government's Covid help- but it will end next month

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The £20 a week boost was part of the government’s Covid help- but it will end next monthCredit: Alamy

The decision to cut the benefit will affect 3.4million children in Britain.

It will mean that “many more families will be pushed into the red”, according to charity Save the Children.

Almost 1.9million households with children were receiving Universal Credit in May 2021, according to the latest government statistics.

The data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed that 46% of these families had a child aged four or under.

Almost a third – 31% – had a youngest child aged between five and 10.

Dan Paskins, director of UK impact at Save the Children, said:  “These figures confirm that the government’s scheduled cut to Universal Credit will affect nearly three-and-a-half million children.  

“The £20 increase has been a lifeline for many families.

“Parents we work with tell us that they’re relying on the extra £20 per week to buy essentials like food and clothes for their children.

“Without it, we know that many more families will be pushed into the red. 

“This is especially worrying since three-quarters of families with children on Universal Credit have a child under ten, and we know that living in poverty as a young child has lifelong impacts.” 

The government has faced mounting cross-party pressure from MPs, as well as calls from charities, to either extend the boost or make it permanent.

Separate research by Save the Children published today showed that 47% of Universal Credit claimants don’t think they will be able to live on the reduced amount.

Single parents are the most concerned about their finances, with more than half – 52% -saying they don’t think they can live on £20 less per week. 

A further 18% said they don’t know if they’ll be able to manage without the extra £80 a month.

We’ve covered the ways you can get help if you’re worried about the impact the cut will have on your finances, including a budgeting loan for emergencies.

According to the charity’s poll, a third of claimants are confident they will be able to make ends meet.

A Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to making sure every child gets the best start in life and introduced the temporary uplift as part of a £400billion support package that has provided a vital safety net for millions of families.

“Children in households where every adult is working are around five times less likely to be in poverty than households where nobody works.

“That is why our focus now is on our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs, which will support people in the long-term by helping them learn new skills and increase their hours or find new work.

“We also have a comprehensive childcare offer in place for working parents, as well as further help in place for families with the cost of living – including by maintaining nearly £1billion of additional housing support through Local Housing Allowance rates.”

Money expert explains how to get £1,274 to start your own business if you’re on Universal Credit or benefits

 

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